I haven’t written a post in a while, and I think that is because I feel as if I have nothing of substance to say. However, this is my blog, and if I want to write about nothing, I will write about nothing, goddammit. So here we go.
I am currently in this strange phase of my life where I no longer have the comfort of identifying as a student (weird) so I am now considered “unemployed” (also weird). I am an adult, but I am living with my parents in the their home, which makes me feel less independent than I would like. This past month and the ones that follow feel like a waiting game until I change my life drastically and ship out of the country, and I suppose I am struggling with the pressure of making the most of my remaining time here.
I have this feeling–and I believe I can say with confidence that I am not the only one–that the few months that follow graduation are a scramble to live up to our society’s standard of the acceptable amount of “busy” for a college graduate. No longer is it okay to spend your summer relaxing, or working part-time, or visiting friends. I feel as if I am falling short of this dictated standard of “busy.” Does that make me a failure so far in the real world? Also, who is in the allotted position to decide that?
I am the type of person who would love to be a planner, but in all reality, I think I’m more of a “play it by ear” kind of girl. I never find comfort in looking too far into the future, and I’m sure I can contribute a lot of that to my struggles with depression and anxiety. However, now more than ever, I am falling far behind by living with this mentality, and the added outside pressure to have a constant tangible plan isn’t helping me find my footing. I am simultaneously drowning and holding my breath.
It seems as if lot of life as a recent post-grad is trying to prove to everyone else that you are living up to their expectations. I am never more self-conscious than when I am telling people how I am spending my time. But why should I care so much if they deem my plans acceptable or not? As long as I am living up to my own expectations, am I falling short of anything? I would love to be able to confidently answer no, but I don’t always feel so sure.
I am in a limbo. In a few months time, I will be making a bigger change than most of the people I know. I will be more independent than most recent post-grads. Hell, I’ll be more independent than most young adults I know. But as of now, I am sitting at my kitchen table, in my parents home, writing this post as I wait for my mom to finish making dinner. I am being yelled at for not cleaning my hair out of the shower drain. I am being asked every day, “have you found a job yet? Why aren’t you trying harder? What are you going to do all summer? I heard [enter old high school classmate’s name] is doing [enter impressive yet tedious sounding job], have you thought about looking into that?” I am taking an online course so that I can get TEFL certified and make a small (lots of emphasis there) salary teaching English in a beautiful country, with the opportunity to travel and meet new people. I am valuing experience over security. Most importantly, I am making a choice that is a risk but with the potential to be the best thing I have ever done in my life.
One day, I will have the sort of confidence that allows me to only do what I feel is acceptable with my life, and not compare my plans and successes with the plans and successes of others. For now I am still working on that, but it is the journey forward that matters most, not the destination.